Okay, so first of all this is NOT the simplest of recipes. This dessert is show stopping, but a labour of love that will take up some serious hourage of your day. The results will leave you on the tip of people’s tongues as they talk about THIS dessert for time to come.
I created this for a pop-up supper club that I hosted a while back, but it will be ideal to finish a meal of any kind at any time.
If you are Jewish – kosher, then there is no way round to eliminate the dairy aspect, so I would say that this is best served with a parev – fishy meal.
A few recipe notes as I baked a few cheesecakes to perfect the recipe (well the first two weren’t great – the third time lucky for me).
- Don’t be tempted just to blend the Oreo’s for the base. You have to separate them lovingly because the texture will be too soft.
- Only use full-fat cream cheese and Philadephia is the go to. Other brands are too watery, and the consistency of the cheesecake will be affected.
- I bought the salted pretzels for Lidl and the dark chocolate, don’t feel that you have to splash out as there are options to buy as good quality ingredients, but at a lower cost.
- Don’t overbake or cool down your cheesecake too quickly as it will split.
- You don’t have to serve this with salted caramel however it makes everything taste that much better, so if you can be bothered then do so and this can be made up to a week advance and stored in the fridge.
- You will need a twenty-two inch spring form cake tin.
FOR THE BASE
- 85g butter melted, plus extra for tin
- 100g Digestive biscuits made into fine crumbs
- 100g Oreo biscuits made into fine crumbs (halved only use the halves without the filling, save those for the filling)
FOR THE FILLING
- 600g/11oz pack Philadelphia cheese, full-fat soft cheese
- 220g golden caster sugar
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, plus 1 yolk
- 284ml carton soured cream
- 150mg crushed Oreo’s the other half of the biscuits used on the base
FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
- 200g good quality dark chocolate
- 284ml carton double cream
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL
- 75 grams best quality unsalted butter
- 50 grams soft light brown sugar
- 50 grams caster sugar
- 50 grams golden syrup
- 125 ml double cream
- 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
- 50 salted pretzels pulsed in food processor.
- 3 crushed Oreos.
METHOD FOR THE CHEESECAKE
- Position an oven shelf in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4. Line the base of a 23cm spring-form cake tin with parchment paper. For the crust, melt the butter in a medium pan. Stir in the biscuit crumbs and sugar so the mixture is evenly moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while preparing the filling.
- For the filling, increase the oven temperature to fan 200C/conventional 240C/gas 9. In a tabletop mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the soft cheese at medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually add the sugar, and then the flour and a pinch of salt, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle twice.
- Swap the paddle attachment for the whisk. Continue by adding the vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and yolk, one at a time, scraping the bowl and whisk at least twice. Stir the 284ml carton of soured cream until smooth. Continue on low speed as you add the measured soured cream. The batter should be smooth, light and somewhat airy. Now add the crushed Oreo’s and stir through.
- Brush the sides of the springform tin with melted butter and put on a baking sheet. Pour in the filling – if there are any lumps, sink them using a knife – the top should be as smooth as possible. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to fan 90C/conventional 110C/gas 1⁄4 and bake for 25 minutes more. If you gently shake the tin, the filling should have a slight wobble. Turn off the oven and open the oven door for a cheesecake that’s creamy in the center, or leave it closed if you prefer a drier texture. Let cool in the oven for 2 hours. The cheesecake may get a slight crack on top as it cools.
- Combine the reserved soured cream with the 142ml carton, the sugar and lemon juice for the topping. Spread over the cheesecake right to the edges. Cover loosely with foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Run a round-bladed knife around the sides of the tin to loosen any stuck edges. Unlock the side, slide the cheesecake off the bottom of the tin onto a plate, then slide the parchment paper out from underneath.
- Once chilled, and the chocolate ganache has been made and cooled slightly spoon gently over the cake. There may be excess so if you want place the cake on a cooling rack with a tray underneath to catch the excess ganache.
- Now sprinkle over some more crushed oreo and pretzels.
- Place in the fridge until ready to serve.
- To serve, place a slice on the plate and drizzle the salted caramel on top.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
- Make the ganache: chop the dark chocolate into small pieces and tip into a bowl. Pour a carton of double cream into a pan, add 2 tbsp golden caster sugar, and heat until it is about to boil.
- Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted, and the mixture is smooth.
FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL (THANKS TO, OF COURSE, THE LEGENDARY NIGELLA)
- Melt butter, sugars and syrup and butter in a small heavy based pan and let simmer for 3 minutes, swirling every now and again.
- Add cream and half a teaspoon of fleur de sel salt (not table salt!) and swirl again, give a stir with a wooden spoon and taste – go cautiously so that you don’t burn your tongue – to see if you want more salt before letting it cook for another minute on the stove, then pour into a jug for serving.